Autumn Normandy foodie festivals

By | Category: Travel destinations
Image of food festival poster

the first foodie show of the month

The French region of Normandy is one of those places that has just too much going for it. It is the home of camembert and other cheeses, calvados, cider, pommeau and, of course, apples as well as some of the best seafood you will find.

And now is the right time to make a weekend break and sample the food and drink as October is one of the best months for food festivals.

In Granville, France’s premier shellfish port, is a festival called Toute la Mer sur un Plateau (this part of the Granville website is only in French,) which many readers will recognise as “All the Sea on a Plate.” Sixteen tonnes of seafood are brought fresh off the fishing boats for the occasion. The festival has markets, pop‑up seafood restaurants, cooking demos, free tastings, folk music and entertainment for all the family. Expecting about 50-60,000 people over the first weekend in October, the population quadruples the size of the town.

The Fête de la Crevette (again just in French) takes place in Honfleur on the next weekend (8th and 9th of October. The little brown shrimp – crevette grise – that we use for making potted shrimps is one of Honfleur specialities and has become the symbol of this traditional maritime festival. The event is dedicated to the sea, to the local fishing boats and their crews. Along with fish of all descriptions, there are a variety of entertainments and activities, performances of sea shanties, shrimp peeling competitions, a fish market, an exhibition of old rigs, concerts, an arts and crafts market.

On the following weekend (15th and 16th of October) there is an event which draws over a 120,000 to just outside Rouen where they hold the  ‘Fête du Ventre et de la Gastronomie Normande.’ Only those with Normandy products are allowed stands during the two ay event so not only can you buy some produce that you will be hard pressed to find without having to scour Normandy but you will also chefs demonstrating their skills, farmers revealing how they work with chefs and retailers and manufacturers showing their cider making skills. As you might expect, this will be complemented by music and a variety of other entertainment.

Fruits of the Sea poster

Fruits of the sea, which includes of course, scallops

On the last weekend of the month in Villers-sur-Mer is the Fete de la coquille Saint-Jacques et des fruits de mer, a homage to the scallop and other seafood. Somehow I always think that fruits of the sea – fruits de mer – sounds more appealing and does more justice to the wonderful flavour rather than the less than tantalising word, “seafood.” Anyway on this weekend, the food is serenaded by the Bagad Lann Bihoue, which is the sole surviving Breton pipe band and which, today, represents the French Navy and France at events across the world. Incidentally a word about the website of the town. Not only is it in English and French but a host of other languages including Welsh, Irish and Scots Gaelic making it one of the most tourist-friendly websites around.

On the last day of the month, some of the best of Normandy comes together in one festivak in the small town of Conches-en-Ouche. The Fête de la Pomme, du Cidre et du Fromage brings together three ingredients made for each other, apples, cider and cheese! Yes, there is folk music; yes there are games and yes, there is market stalls and cooking demonstrations but I can hardly pass up the chance of all those tasting sessions where cheese and cider produce winning combinations just to listen to music and play games can I?

For a list of all of the main food festivals taking place in Normandy this Autumn, click here or go to





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